Lakota Grandmother Olowan Martinez, who earlier protested White Clay liquor stores and abuses, was extradited to Nebraska on 'terrorist threat' charges after taking a stand against Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock!
By Natalie Hand
Lakota Media Project
French translation by Christine Prat at:
RUSHVILLE, Sheridan County, Nebraska -- Water Protector Olowan Martinez made her initial court appearance today in Sheridan County Court.
Judge Russell Harford granted Martinez a $10,000 bond for the following charges:
*1 count Terroristic Threat - Class 4 Felony (Verbal threat)
* 1 count Theft - Class 2 Misdemeanor (Took over movable property to take alcohol)
* 1 count Aiding & Abetting in Criminal Mischief - Class 2 Misdemeanor (Recklessly damaging property, namely alcohol)
* 1 count Aiding & Abetting in Criminal Mischief - Class 1 Misdemeanor (Damaged tires on movable property, namely beer distribution truck)
These charges stem from a 2013 Women's Day of Peace rally that was held in White Clay, Nebraska, the infamous tiny border town, population 13, near the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. White Clay liquor stores peddle alcohol to the neighboring "dry" reservation, where alcohol is banned. Four liquor stores in White Clay sell over 4 million cans of beer annually and make a considerable profit. Martinez has been a longtime opponent of alcohol sales in the border town.
The Women's Day of Peace rally consisted of mothers and grandmothers exercising their constitutional right to peacefully assemble to raise awareness of the lawlessness in White Clay, which includes sex trafficking, alcohol sales to minors, illicit drug dealing, sexual assaults and unsolved murders.
"It is unfortunate that Nebraska law enforcement ignores the illicit and illegal activities that take place in Whiteclay that are associated with the liquor stores. Instead, they criminalize and arrest activists like Olowan Martinez. She needs to be commended not incarcerated. Let us be honest, the true criminals are the alcohol corporations like Budweiser and the liquor store owners who exploit legal loopholes to make profits and ignore the devastating effects that alcohol has brought upon Oglala Lakota children and families," stated Jorge Castillo, Advocacy Director at Alcohol Justice, an alcohol industry watchdog organization.
Martinez, an Oglala Lakota grandmother from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, was arrested on September 13th in Morton County, North Dakota, on a criminal trespass charge for her alleged participation in a nonviolent direct action to stop the Dakota Access pipeline construction.
Upon her arrest, she was informed of an outstanding warrant against her in Nebraska. Martinez waived an extradition hearing in Morton County court on September 14th, thus allowing the Sheridan County Sheriff 10 days to take her into their custody.
Sheridan County Sheriff Terry Robbins confirmed that his office took Martinez into their custody on September 21st.
Martinez's preliminary hearing is scheduled for September 29th at 1:00 p.m. MST in Sheridan County Court.
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